Robotics, automation, websites & more


In this section it is possible to find all the headline news in which Fabio Ruggiero is directly involved. Please, visit the PRISMA Lab webpage for a more thorough selection of news and press clips.

The main objective of COWBOT is to develop a novel robotic solution for precision livestock farming (PLF). The proposed solution will be realized as a novel concept of heterogeneous team of robots to be deployed in farming facilities with the aim of monitoring and supporting daily activities. PLF represents a new golden era of dairy industry. Modern livestock farming is searching for new innovations and the latest can boost milk yields, enhance milk quality, and reduce the costs associated to animal productions. There are a variety of aspects of farm management which, if handled through technology, can make operations efficient. Precision farming technologies provide great opportunities for improvements in individual animal management on dairy farms. Combined, all devices may provide data that measures animal management, feeding and welfare, which can then be extrapolated to make changes in the dairy’s facilities.Along these lines, robots are a revolutionary upscaling in the Agri-Food sector for their precision and efficiency. In particular, the heterogeneous robotic team developed within COWBOT will provide disruptive solutions for monitoring precise livestock farming. A multi-modal sensing system will be integrated into the robotic devices for environmental monitoring (temperature, pH, salinity, water and air quality), feed quality (silage, hay and total mixed ration - TMR), possible abnormal fermentations as well as aerobic spoilage, fire prevention, indexes of animals’ welfare and behavior. COWBOT will be the starting point for a coordinated team of robots that may automatically monitor, manage, and safely co-exist with animals in smart, precise livestock farming. Thus, the impacts of the project will embrace the still unreached goal of increasing livestock farming quality and production.

For more information, please contact the responsible of the research unit, Fabio Ruggiero [fabio (dot) ruggiero (at) unina (dot) it].

HARMONY develops robotic mobile manipulation technologies for assisting staff in hospital environments. Europe’s ageing population along with higher numbers of people in the healthcare system will require increased care and staffing levels. Automation will become a quality and precision must and a medical business fact. However, the reality is that our current robotic automation solutions only offer “islands of automation” where either mobility or manipulation is dealt with in isolation. The project aims to fill this gap in knowledge on combining both robotic mobility and manipulation modalities in complex, human-centred environments. Through demonstrators and open software modules, robotic mobile manipulation systems can be seamlessly integrated into our existing processes and spaces to meet growing needs in the healthcare industry and beyond.

For more information, please contact the responsible of the CREATE research unit, Prof. Bruno Siciliano, or WP7 leader [fabio (dot) ruggiero (at) unina (dot) it].

Although mechanization has lowered management costs and precision viticulture is shyly bursting, selective practices still require time-consuming manual operations. This project tackles the emerging challenge of the dramatic shortage in skilled labor and lower grape price using robotic solutions. Robots are a revolutionary upscaling in the Agri- Food sector for their precision and efficiency. The main goal of this project is to develop and test innovative robotic mobile manipulation technologies for grapevine winter pruning automation. Deep learning processes and pruning skills will be merged into a robot with advanced control capabilities. Multi-modal sensing system, in particular stereo vision, will be developed and integrated to a full torque sensing robotic manipulator for grapevine recognition, manipulation, and pruning. This robotic arm will be mounted on a legged locomotion platform forming a mobile manipulator prototype that will be demonstrated in comparison with hand pruning in vineyard. Robot manipulation performance as pruning efficiency, locomotion as related to different terrain as well as vine growth features the following season will be assessed. Impacts of the project embrace the still unreached goal of selective and fully automation of winter pruning.

For more information, please contact the responsible of the UNINA research unit [fabio (dot) ruggiero (at) unina (dot) it].

WELDON is aimed at enhancing the autonomy of bipedal robots, such as humanoids, for future application to manufacturing, service robotics, and healthcare domain. Recent robotic challenges have shown that humanoids exhibit serious robustness problems within unstructured scenarios. On the other hand, robot manipulation capabilities are daily increasing, filling the actual gap between human and robotic skills. Latest funded projects in robotics have demonstrated that robots can perform complex manipulation tasks like the nonprehensile ones, where the object is manipulated without being caged within the hand’s fingertips or the palm. A new trend in robotics is to find out possible connections between different research fields. By using existing techniques in a specific robotic sector, it is then possible to export the discovered tools into the connected scenario to solve some issues. To this purpose, literature has already highlighted that balancing, slow walking gaits, and grasping tasks share several similarities. For instance, two slow walking legs can be seen as two fingers grasping a much larger object, i.e., the earth. However, walking shares also some hybrid contact/non-contact conditions with a multi-fingered hand juggling some objects on it. Since the robotic manipulation theory is indeed advanced during the last decades, the fundamental idea behind WELDON is to establish a connection between multi-contact dynamic, energy efficient walking and nonprehensile manipulation. Find out such a connection will allow to WELDON to go beyond the current scientific state of the art in legged robotics, providing both theoretical and technological solutions where cutting-edge knowledge and innovation can merge in creating e versatile framework for walking tasks.

For more information, please visit the project website, or contact the principal investigator [fabio (dot) ruggiero (at) unina (dot) it].

During the Maker Faire Rome 2017, European Edition, the RoDyMan stand has been awarded Maker of Merit for its originality and potential, a certificate issued by the organizers and the American mother company. Fabio Ruggiero was responsible for the RoDyMan stand during the three days, from December 1 to December 3, 2017. See the related press coverage on the PRISMA Lab website.